Move As One Coalition Sounds Alarm on Rising Air Pollution Crisis in Metro Manila
In the face of rising air pollution levels, a coalition of sustainable transport advocates, known as the Move As One Coalition, has called for urgent action. The recent heavy smog that enveloped Metro Manila underscores the adverse effects of vehicular emissions, with the coalition labeling vehicles as the primary cause of the region’s toxic air. The coalition proposes active forms of mobility and improved public transportation systems as solutions to mitigate the harmful impact of air pollution.
As part of their proposed solutions, the Move As One Coalition emphasizes the importance of constructing protected bike lanes and safe pathways. Additionally, they advocate for improvements in the public health system. These measures aim to lessen the detrimental effects of toxic air on both the population and the economy.
The Move As One Coalition proposes the prioritisation of cycling and a more efficient public transport system over private motor vehicles. Such a transition would lead to people-centered and climate-friendly mobility solutions. Active modes of transport offer numerous benefits, including minimal to no greenhouse gas emissions. They also contribute positively to sustainable urban planning and encourage increased physical activity, leading to personal health benefits.
Budget Concerns and the Need for Government Prioritisation
However, concerns have been raised regarding the proposed budget for active transport infrastructure. The initial budget of P2 billion in 2022 has been reduced to P500 million, causing alarm within the coalition. They have urged the government to cater to the needs of the majority of Filipinos who do not own four-wheeled motor vehicles. With 87% of the population believing that public transportation, bicycles, and pedestrians should take precedence over private vehicles, the coalition stresses the need for government prioritisation.
The Collective Concern of Air Pollution
The coalition is keen to remind that air pollution is a collective concern. It requires a unified effort from all stakeholders to tackle it effectively. The focus is on prioritising active mobility and improvements in public transport systems to reduce vehicular emissions and their associated impacts on public health and the economy.
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